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On Saturday night inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez made history in more ways than one.
Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KO) bided his time before blasting three-time light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev into orbit. Alvarez had difficulty early on in dealing with the taller, lankier Russian’s fantastic jab, but once the Guadalajara native got things going, all he needed was a few punches to end things.
Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO) boxed beautifully early in the fight but then caught second wind going into the championship rounds. Most of the frames in the Dazn-streamed min event were as close as they come, but “Krusher” was the busier of the two and his jab was on point. However, about midway through the 11th round, “Canelo” wobbled Kovalev with a sharp overhand right. When Kovalev backed into the ropes, Alvarez cracked him with a left hook and then turned his lights out with a crushing right to the jaw. Kovalev spun around and fell face-first into the ropes, and referee Russell Mora never bothered to administer a count, ending the super fight at 2:15 of the round.
The sensational win not only allowed Alvarez to join the illustrious group of Dick Tiger, Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins as the only current or former middleweight world champions to capture a world title at light heavyweight, as he snatched Kovalev’s World Boxing Organization 175-pound title. Furthermore, the win allowed Canelo to join all-time great Henry Armstrong as the only fighter to hold world titles in three different weight classes simultaneously. Armstrong held the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles in 1938 and “Canelo” added his new hardware to his World Boxing Association middleweight and WBA super middleweight titles.